For Leetch, the transition from his years as a Ranger has been difficult. He was stunned when the team traded him to Toronto on March 3, 2004, his 36th birthday, and acknowledged that he still harbored hard feelings. He struggled with his return to Madison Square Garden as an opposing player — last season as a member of the Bruins.
He said that he had discussions about returning to the Rangers this season, but that he could not overcome his lingering bitterness about the way he left. He said he still saw himself as a full-time player and was concerned that teams would use him in a lesser role
It wouldnt be so bad if the Rangers went somehwere in the playoffs this year and last, because at least trading him would be partially vindicated.
But Sather treated him like **** and Leetch had to make the biggest sacrifice for the Rangers, more than any other Ranger legend.
I feel really bad for the guy i do, its pretty f-uped when you trade a good player away from a team theyve been their whole career, but when you do it to a legend (and perhaps the best american born defensman ever) its even worse. Especially the way Sather handled it.
I know its a business and it was time for the Rangers to do that, but IMO it was a half-assed rebuild, and it was the wrong way approach Leetch about it. I was one against taking Leetch back this year because i knew it wouldnt be good for him or the Rangers. Weve all gone over it. But having said that it is still crappy to see Brain Leetch, our guy, our #2 - the best defensman in Rangers history, a cup winner - there in that picture with his son but totally out of the NHL picture. Its not the way a great player should end his career. If you read that first post in 1995 you would be shocked, i know i would.
I hope when the Rangers retire his number it is a classy night and the fans make him feel proud again to stand on that ice, just for him.
Last edited by HockeyBasedNYC: 02-05-2007 at 10:18 PM.
That's a great photo right there. Signs of a legend who knows that it might be the end, so rather than worrying about it, he just goes about it and has fun with his kid.
At least that's how I see it, that's the art nerd in me coming out, lol
And yeah I feel bad about the way Sather treated Leetch at the end. I know we probably won that trade with the Leafs by getting younger, but I could barely even look at Leetch when he was in Toronto and Boston.